What were the project goals?
Broadly we want to advance a vision for the Fairmount Indigo Line as a cultural corridor that draws upon the local cultural assets and ethnic traditions of the Corridor’s residents, through an Upham’s Corner pilot that will encourage cultural economic activity through placemaking interventions such as interactive installations, outdoor markets, and complementary business activity in and around the historic Strand Theater and the Upham’s Corner train stop. Our aim is for creative placemaking that is rooted in Upham’s Corner’s history and diversity. We believe that deep local resident and business engagement is critical to ensuring collective ownership, the hallmark of any sustainable, long term change.
Specifically we want to:
• Ensure that arts and cultural programming in Upham’s Corner is designed and led by local artists, residents and merchants
• Use art to engage residents in imagining new possibilities for underutilized indoor and outdoor spaces (exs?)
• Increase culturally relevant performances at the Strand Theater
• Create culturally relevant permanent art installations to enhance public interest in the arts
• Inform and engage community in neighborhood revitalization planning processes
• Support local artists in showcasing their work, including an Open Market, shows in vacant storefronts and technical support for business development
• Evaluate and document best practices in using arts to build neighborhood vibrancy
Have they changed over time?
Our project is still in its early phases, so there haven’t been a ton of changes yet. However, as our resident leadership team takes ownership of the project, we anticipate that they will offer some new goals and push back on some existing ones. That said, in meetings with residents, artists and merchants, we’ve found tremendous interest in our overall goals, especially focused on The Strand and on using available open spaces and storefronts to support and highlight local artists.
Who are the project partners and stakeholders?
UCAP has a broad cross-section of partners, and this is no coincidence. We believe that long term success will be based on the partnerships that grow or deepen through this process, whether they’re partnerships between local artists and businesses, between businesses and nonprofits, or between the city and local planning efforts. Some of the key partners are:
The Boston Foundation
Public Agency Partners:
• Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA): coordination with Fairmount Master Plan
• City of Boston – Department of Neighborhood Development (DND): coordination with Upham’s Corner Main Streets and local businesses
• Mayor’s Office of Arts, Tourism and Special Events (MOATSE): coordination of performances at the Strand
• Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative (DSNI): resident engagement
• Fairmount Greenway Collaborative: resident engagement
• Dorchester Bay Economic Development Corporation: resident engagement
• Upham’s Corner Main Street (UCMS): business engagement
• ArtMorpheus: technical support for local artists
• Jose Mateo Ballet Theatre: dance programmer
• Berklee College of Music: music programmer
• University of Massachusetts Boston Trotter Institute: theater programmer
• Design Studio for Social Intervention: exhibit programmer
Our primary stakeholders include the diverse population of the Upham’s Corner neighborhood, including artists, merchants, elderly, youth, immigrants, etc. If UCAP doesn’t succeed in engaging these stakeholders at a high level, the community will not have their say in the development going on around them. Deep local resident and business engagement is critical to ensuring collective ownership, the hallmark of any sustainable change. With our commitment to creating a strong community foundation, we hope to ensure that a lot of the programming, awareness, and energy extends well beyond the ArtPlace grant period and becomes a core element of sustainable, community-centered development in Upham’s Corner.